NMB to NCCC: Return to bargaining
NCCC refuses to bargain as carriers earn record profits
On January 5, the National Mediation Board (NMB) rejected the National Carrier Conference Committee's (NCCC) request for a release from mediation and ordered the NCCC to return to the bargaining table with the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition (RLBC).
The NCCC refused to set new dates for bargaining with the RLBC on December 14 and asked the NMB for release from mediation.
The NMB, however, directed the parties to meet with Mediator Terri Brown for full day sessions on January 31 and February 1 at the NCCC's offices in Washington, D.C. Additional full-day sessions with Mediator Brown were ordered for February 7-10, 2006 and February 16-17, 2006.
"We've been diligently working on proposals and meeting with the carriers since January 2005 - we've made some progress and we intend to keep at it until we reach an agreement on a national contract with the improvements our members deserve," said George Francisco, the coordinator for the RLBC and president of the Firemen and Oilers Union.
"The National Mediation Board made the right move," said Don Hahs, National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET). "As rail companies continue posting record profits for their Wall Street investors, it is time for them to recognize the contribution of Rail Labor to their healthy bottom line."
Freddie N. Simpson, President of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division, said, "I'm pleased the NMB rejected the Carrier's premature request for release from mediation. I look forward to sitting down with the rest of the RLBC members and engaging in meaningful bargaining with the Carriers over the important issues facing all rail workers."
The BLET and BMWED are members of the Teamsters Rail Conference.
The RLBC is committed to reaching an agreement at the bargaining table.
"The seven member unions of the RLBC are united in their desire to reach an agreement voluntarily," said Dan Pickett, President of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS). "We are willing to sit at the table and talk to the carriers for as long as it takes to get an agreement done. You must fulfill the intent of the process - proposing your own substantive proposals and responding to theirs."
The Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition is a coalition of seven rail labor unions whose contracts cover nearly 85,000 rail workers or 65 percent of the carriers' employees. The NCCC represents the Class 1 carriers (Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Norfolk Southern, CSX, etc.) that transport most of the rail freight in the country.
The seven unions of the RLBC are:
© 2006 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen